Garlic-Lime Steak Noodle Salad

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Garlic-Lime Steak Noodle Salad

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

This is my kind of dish…any day of the week.


  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) coconut sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) fish sauce (I like Red Boat)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) lime juice
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Red chili flakes, or thinly sliced Thai/bird’s eye chili to taste
  • 1 1/4 pound (565 grams) flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 8.8-ounce (250 grams) package thin rice noodles (I used these)
  • 1/2 pound (270 grams) green beans, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved (mixed colors are lovely here)
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) Persian-style small cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 cup chopped mix of fresh cilantro and mint

Chef Tips


Step 1 (marinate the beef/and make dressing)

Combine brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili heat of your choice in a medium bowl. Taste it; you want it to be salty and sour first, followed by sweetness and heat.

Place steak in a sealable freezer bag. Pour in about 1/3 of this mixture and press all of the air out of the bag so it stays on the meat. Place steak in the fridge for about an hour and up to a day. I am usually in a rush, and just marinate it for as long as I can while prepping everything else.

Slowly whisk 3 tablespoons of oil into the remaining marinade; this is now your dressing. Adjust flavors, again, to taste. Set aside until needed.

Step 2

Prepare other salad ingredients: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. For regular sized green beans, cook them for 2.5 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain and transfer to a bowl.

I use the water again to cook the noodles according to package directions; mine say to remove the boiling water from the heat, add the noodles, and let them soak for 5 minutes, until softened. Drain, place in bowl, and set aside until needed. If they get sticky, you can run cold water over them, or toss them with a splash of oil.

To grill steak: Get your grill (or grill pan) really hot and lightly coat grates with oil. Remove steak from marinade and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes, and up to 5 minutes, per side, depending on thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper as you grill. (I did 4 minutes per side in the thinnish flank steaks shown, and they were too medium for our tastes, but your mileage may vary.) Remove Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing very thin and putting on a serving plate.

To serve: Place cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (see Note), and herbs each in their own bowl with a spoon for serving. Put out your noodles, steak, and salad dressing too. A tiny ladle is ideal for the dressing, because mine always separates, and this allows people to stir a bit before spooning it over.

To eat! Start with a small pile of noodles, followed by a few slices of steak, big spoonfuls of each vegetable, a few chilis, and a ladle of the dressing, followed by the herbs (don’t skimp; they’re perfect here). Repeat as needed.